Commercial Music – MA – Bath Spa University

Key facts

Award
MA Commercial Music
School/s
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full time or two years part time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Whether you're a recent graduate or an industry professional, develop your skills on our Commercial Music MA.

  • Flexible, adaptive and designed for both recent graduates and current professionals.
  • Opportunity to specialise in Music Production, Music Business or Songwriting.
  • Work alongside tutors with the highest level of experience in the music industry.

On our Commercial Music MA, you'll build on your current skills and experience whilst focusing on a particular area of the music industry: Songwriting, Music Production or the Music Business.

You'll choose your modules based on your individual career aspirations, and work towards a major project focused on your specialism:

  • As a songwriter, you could create your own album, or write for others, and develop a showcase of material to pitch to publishers.
  • As a producer, you could apply your skills to your own music or focus on producing for other artists.
  • Your focus on the music business could encompass anything from artist management to setting up your own promotions company or starting a record label.

Whichever specialism you choose, you'll be working with tutors who have worked in the music industry at the highest level. Their experience includes number one albums, gold and multi-platinum recordings, BAFTA awards, Grammy nominations, and international touring and recording experience.

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What you'll learn

Overview

You'll carry out research into your specialist area of study and contextualise your own practice through the study of seminal productions, song recordings or business developments. In addition to this you'll focus on specific skills development in your specialism:

Music Production
You'll learn traditional studio techniques of recording electric bands and acoustic music. You'll also expand your skillset into experimental practice and electronic sound design.

Songwriting
You'll work with multiple tutors all with professional songwriting experience studying a range of practical techniques relating to lyric writing, song form, application of harmony, writing effective toplines, stylistic referencing and alternative creative approaches.

Music Business
You'll study the most up to date business models and practice across a range of music industry areas including management, digital marketing, promotion, publishing and record companies.

Course modules

Our Commercial Music MA course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Research Methodologies and Context
  • Songwriting Skills
  • Music Production Anatomy 1
  • Music Business Analysis
  • Song, Culture and Identity
  • Professional Collaboration
  • Music production Anatomy 2
  • Digital Marketing in the Music Business
  • Major Project
  • Workstation Song Production

How will I be assessed?

There are no formal exams. Your assessed material will be relevant to your specialist area and will include audio recordings, visual material, written work, presentations and viva (discussion of your work).

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught in a variety of ways including lectures, online video material, online lectures, practical workshops, and individual tutorials.

Opportunities

Access lectures from our undergraduate course

You can attend any lecture from our undergraduate course giving you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and specialist focus with additional relevant skills from across our undergraduate programme. Examples include music business, digital marketing, video production, composing music with technology and performance. You'll also be able to engage in our vibrant programme of industry guest lectures, songwriting circles and regular live events.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We don’t just teach you about the music industry, we bring it to you. Music Think Tank is an annual ten-week lecture series that brings you into contact with practitioners from a wide spectrum of the industry.

You'll also be embedded in a vibrant culture of performance and live events in the Bristol and Bath region.

Careers

Recent graduates have gone onto roles such as:

  • Professional signed artist
  • Published songwriter
  • Working in a record company
  • Music publisher
  • Music agent
  • Music promoter
  • Studio producer/engineer
  • Music manager.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The majority of module workshops, seminars and tutorials are held at our Newton Park campus but we offer a 'blended learning' approach giving you access to all lectures online. This allows us to work in way that fits your creative practice and professional commitments.

Resources

You'll have access to our music technology facilities including recording studios, rehearsal rooms and production pods.

Students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. Commercial Music students can hire our instruments, PA systems, recording equipment, video cameras and laptops for their creative projects.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

Course fees
2022/23 entry £8,065
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024

UK students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,033
Year 2 Published Jan 2023

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

Course fees
2022/23 entry £15,600
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023
2024/25 entry Published Jan 2024

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for graduates who want to build on their existing skills to professionalise their creative practice, as well as existing professionals who want to galvanise their industry experience in order to enhance and widen their career prospects.

Typical offers

You will normally have a good undergraduate degree in a relevant subject or equivalent music industry experience. You'll need to provide a digital portfolio of your creative/business work and we'll then interview you online to discuss your suitability for the course.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Want to apply for this year? 

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

Course leader: James Dickinson

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk